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Effects of desiccation on seed germination, cracking, fungal infection and survival in storage of Sterculia foetida L

Hong, T. D., Ellis, R. H., Tam, B. N. and Le Tam, V. T. (2005) Effects of desiccation on seed germination, cracking, fungal infection and survival in storage of Sterculia foetida L. Seed Science and Technology, 33 (3). pp. 705-712. ISSN 0251-0952

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Abstract/Summary

Seeds of Sterculia foetida were tested for germination following desiccation and subsequent hermetic storage. Whereas seeds at 10.3% moisture content were intact and provided 98% germination, further desiccation reduced germination substantially. The majority of seed coats had cracked after desiccation to 5.1% moisture content. Ability to germinate was not reduced after 12 months' hermetic storage at 10.3% and 7.3% moisture content at 15 degrees C or -18 degrees C, but was reduced considerably at 5.1%. Fungal infection was detected consistently for cracked seeds in germination tests and they did not germinate. However, almost all embryos extracted from cracked seeds germinated if first disinfected with sodium hypochlorite (1%, 5 minutes). In addition. 80 -100% of disinfected extracted embryos from cracked seeds stored hermetically for 28 d at -18 degrees C or -82 degrees C with 3.3% to 6.0% moisture content, and excised embryos stored in this way, were able to germinate. Hence. failure of the very dry seeds of Sterculia foetida to germinate was not due to embryo death from desiccation but to cracking increasing susceptibility to fungal infection upon rehydration. Cracking was associated negatively and strongly with relative humidity and appears to be a mechanical consequence of substantial differences between the isotherms of whole seeds compared with cotyledons and axes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8685
Uncontrolled Keywords:COAT DAMAGE, TEMPERATURE, LONGEVITY, CHICKPEA, SOYBEANS, MOISTURE, BEANS

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